A Sussex MP today denied claims he made a threatening phone call to Princess Diana months before she died.

MP Nicholas Soames spoke out after after the allegations were made at the Princess's inquest.

Diana's therapist and confidante, Simone Simmons, told the hearing that the Mid Sussex Conservative MP called her at Kensington Palace in the February before her death and threatened her with the taunt that "accidents can happen".

Mr Soames is a lifelong friend of the Prince of Wales and his former equerry.

Miss Simmons claimed she was having a cup of tea with the Princess in February 1997 when Diana received a call from Mr Soames. She claims that as Mr Soames was speaking the Princess beckoned her over and she put her ear to the receiver as well. She heard "Don't meddle in things you know nothing about because you know accidents can happen."

Many government ministers, especially those involved with the defence industry, were angered by Diana's call for an international ban on landmines during her visit to Angola in January 1997 where she drew a lot of publicity to the victims of the deadly munitions.

Nicholas Soames, former Defence Minister, says on his website that he has a specialist and detailed knowledge of defence, trade and industry but denies making the threatening phone call.

Mr Soames spoke to The Argus and said: "It's all complete fabrication from this woman."

In his response to the inquest he said: "I never ever discussed anything to do with the landmine campaign or indeed, I think in the many years that I knew her, anything to do with a political issue at all."

He claimed it would have been inappropriate for him to raise political issues with a member of the royal family and he wouldn't have been concerned about Diana's involvement in the landmine campaign because "it was a current policy issue".

He said he had never heard of Simone Simmons before the accusation. He also claimed the last time he would have called Diana would have been to discuss skiing holidays she went on with Mr Soames' first wife Catherine and son Harry. He said: "I would have spoken to her about arrangements and things and from time to time, when she and the Prince of Wales came to dinner with me, I would have spoken to her to confirm arrangements.

"I cannot remember really - it must have been years ago that I last had a telephone call with her."